Auto accidents among passenger vehicles, especially when they occur on the interstate or freeway, can have devastating consequences for those involved. When an accident involves a large truck or tractor-trailer, though, this potential goes up exponentially. The average tractor-trailer is at least 20 times heavier than the typical passenger sedan and takes much longer to come to a complete stop.
In addition to the increased possibility of serious injury or death with a trucking accident, there is also an increase in the number of liable parties. Who might be responsible for a trucking accident, and who will have to pay the plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit? This blog will explore four possible parties.
- Truck Driver. In an investigation following a trucking accident, the focus usually begins with the actions of the driver. Was he texting on his cellphone? Was he making telephone calls or in a telephone conversation? Was he or she speeding or driving recklessly at the time of the accident? Was there an effort to stop the truck right before the collision? Was the driver under the influence of alcohol or drugs or suffering from lack of sleep? These are some questions that need to be answered in an investigation.
- Trucking Company. Companies may employ drivers full-time or use independent contractors to fill labor needs. If the truck driver involved in an accident is an employee of the trucking company, then the company might be at least partially liable. Trucking companies are required to hire workers who have a Commercial Driver’s License and have completed training. Additionally, trucking companies are allowed to put their drivers on the road for a limited number of hours per week. Any efforts by trucking companies to skirt requirements for hiring and scheduling truck drivers can leave them liable in the case of an accident. The trucking company should have policies and procedures in place that must be followed by the truck driver and are geared toward safety of the motoring public.
- Truck Owner. In many cases, the trucking company or driver may be the owner of the vehicle. Other times, the truck may be leased to the company or driver. Whoever the owner is must maintain the truck and bring it in for regular service. Brake failure, tire blowouts, and other parts failures can occur when regular inspections are not performed on large trucks.
- Cargo Loaders. Yet another party that comes into the picture when investigating a trucking accident is the owner or loader of commercial cargo being transported by a large truck. Cargo must not exceed a certain weight (exact amount varies depending on type and size of truck) and it must be loaded securely. A truck with loose cargo can tip over after its contents shift inside the cargo space.
Because accidents involving tractor-trailers and other large trucks can have multiple liable parties, not just any personal injury attorney will be sufficient for your case. Robin Frazer Clark, Trial Lawyer, is well-equipped to handle your personal injury case stemming from a trucking accident that left you or a loved one with serious injuries. Ready to get started? Reach out to us today to begin your free consultation. You may also call us at 404-873-3700. We are ready to get to work for you.
Robin Frazer Clark is a trial lawyer who pursues justice for those who have personal injury claims as a result of being injured in motor vehicle wrecks, trucking wrecks, defective products, defective maintenance of roads, premises safety, medical malpractice and other incidents caused by the negligence of others. Ms. Clark is the 50th President of the State Bar of Georgia, a Past President of Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, a Past President of the Lawyers Club of Atlanta, and has practiced law in Georgia for 31 years. She is a member of the International Society of Barristers and of the American Board of Trial Advocates. Mrs. Clark is listed as one of the Top 50 Women Trial Lawyers in Georgia and is a Georgia Super Lawyer.
Robin Frazer Clark ~ Dedicated to the Constitution’s Promise of Justice for All.